on October 18, 2004
Grace Dong-Mei Parker was adopted from a Chinese orphanage by Canadian parents, and despite their well-meaning efforts, she's adamantly opposed to having anything to do with her Chinese heritage. The sense of identity that language lessons and lunches in Chinatown never accomplish, happens dramatically when she witnesses a news broadcast of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and results in her return to China at the age of twenty to try to track down her birth parents. The circumstances of her birth and abandoment comes out gradually, from several points of view.
Despite being nominated for the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults, this reads like adult fiction to me, especially with the complexity of the narrative (multiple points of view and timeshifts--but it's not as confusing as it sounds). Adjectives include lyrical, bittersweet and Canadian.
on September 23, 2006
I found this book to be one of the best I have ever read. What makes this book so great is how it is told from all of the characters perspective. Some books get boring if just told from one character, but in this book it's really interesting seeing how the plot unravels as you read from each characters view. It was so good that when I was first reading it, even though I knew the story wasn't real, I kept forgetting. I was hard to me to grasp that each character was actually written by the same person, that's how well written it was. I just borrowed this book from the library but since it was so great, I plan on buying it now, so I can read it again. I also plan on checking out more works written by the author since I liked this book so much.